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Yamakita-machi , Kanagawa Related category:
The Hyakumanben Nenbutsu of Yozuku    

Digest: 3 minutes
Entire story: 31 minutes
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This is a nenbutsu (prayer to the Buddha) faith said to have been started 600 years ago. It used to be performed in Noanji Temple in Yozuku, Yamakita-machi, Kanagawa Prefecture, but, due to the construction of the Miho dam, it is now performed in Noanji Temple which has been moved to Mukohara, Yamakita-machi, on the weekend (Saturday and Sunday) nearest to February 15 every year. The Hyakumanben Nenbutsu of Yozuku is unique in its style in which a huge Buddhist rosary is tied to a gigantic pulley and rolled along by stalwart young men. The huge 9-meter long rosary is placed on a ladder-like pulley and taiko drums are placed alongside it. Sangi (counting rods) are also arranged on a little table and the number of rotations of the rosary is counted by an elder who is given the assignment. The congregation gathers around this and recites the nenbutsu. When this is finished, other celebrations, such as a shishimai dance and an asobi kagura dance, are also performed.

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